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Germany to fine tech firms for hate speech and fake news

The government of Germany has recently approved fines of up to EUR 50 million against social media platforms that fail to remove illicit and fake content by users.

According to reports, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet agreed on rules that would impose penalties to Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels.Germany

“Hate crimes that are not effectively combated and prosecuted pose a great danger to the peaceful cohesion of a free, open and democratic society,” said Merkel’s government in a statement.

A report by the Daily Mail highlighted that German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said that the companies offering such online platforms will be responsible for removing hateful content. “Just like on the streets, there is also no room for criminal incitement on social networks.”

The minister added that measures to combat hate speech and defamatory news are must be taken at the European level to be more effective.

The report noted that the bill has been approved by Merkel’s cabinet on 4th April but still needs to undergo parliamentary approval.

Germany has been actively pushing for measures to combat fake news and online hate speech ever since the arrival of around one million asylum seekers in the country from 2015 spurred xenophobic hate speech online.

The government has since repeatedly warned the online companies to take action to better police the content on their networks.

The German government also said in a statement that executives of social media platforms also risk individual fines up to EUR 5 million in case of non-compliance.


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